Hello from brrrr cold Nebraska. The temperatures here are ranging from the single digits at night to a the balmy middle twenties during the day. Snow storm Draco dumped about 8 inches of snow after freezing rain glazed over every thing with ice. The subfreezing weather allowed just enough melt from salting the streets to pack down the snow on the streets to about two inches of solid ice. Ruts on the neighborhood street made hazardous travel for almost a week. The plows were really trying to scrape the snow off the street but solid ice just doesn't plow so good. My cedar tree who I have named Cici sustained branch damage when the wet heavy snow clung to the branches. One major branch couldn't bear the weight and broke. I trimmed it up as best I could and will see what can be done in the spring. So I was a bit glad when Euclid missed us as it blanketed the North with another layer of snow. Euclid gave us only .6 inch of snow which was nothing more than a trace of moisture.
What was the best present that you received this year? Mine was a garden book written by a prolific writer from Canada named Niki Jabbour. I'd not heard of her but for looking so young in the cover picture, she has acquired allot of garden wisdom. I've never tried to garden outside of the natural summer time planting season but she has inspired me to think outside of the garden season. It's difficult for me to break out of the row crop farmer mentality and step into the homestead gardener thinking. For years I've read about those brave enough to extend the seasons with gardening methods foreign to my growing experiences. I guess it's time to me to be a real gardener and not just a farmer, huh. So I've decided to make a stab at it this next year. With 250 seed packets that my daughter bought at season end last year, I have allot of seeds to use as experiments.
I was part of a discussion about food storage not too long ago. While sharing my methods of storage it seemed to be a new thing for those around the table even though they were folks that grew gardens and canned food. I have to make a disclaimer in the beginning that this does not take the place of long term food processing but only for fresher storage for two to three weeks. Glass jars were taken off the list of things that the city recycle trucks would pick up. I'm not sure why but then again not many things are processed in glass jars any more. My friends were amazed that I would reuse the glass jars from mainly pickles and spaghetti sauce. When ever I have left overs, I just put them in the clean jars while still hot and screw the original jar lid down tight. It will seal the jar as it cools. The contents are now in a sealed jar for storage in the refrigerator. I have eaten food stored this way up to a month later but I wouldn't recommend stretching it that long. Other uses as you can see from the picture would be to store the other kitchen things such as flour, sugar, peanuts, and even bulk breakfast cereal.
I have begun to work on the food storage wall. You can see the bottom wall plate and the one side support. The top wall plate and the other side support are in place as well. This is not the proper way to build a wall as those out there that are familiar with construction techniques. The right way is to build the wall and then set it up in the proper place. I don't have that luxury because of space issues.
You can better see my space issues in this picture. The steel support and support pillar makes it very difficult for standard construction. Ha, I laugh at challenges. The difficult sparks my imagination.
We are so blessed with wonderful lumber these days. NOT!! Here you can see what has to be done to get the warped 2X4 in proper alignment. I also have a stud that is twisted. I'm not sure how to deal with that but I will come up with some way to twist it back into submission.
This is the bones of the wall. I'm about as far as I can go until a door is found. So the tools are silent and the lights are switched off because now it's time to head out to see the movie called "The Hobbit" with a couple other guys. Yes a fun way to end a work day. See ya at the movies.